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UN resolutions are not binding – Sri Lanka Deputy FM

Sri Lanka's Deputy Foreign Minister claimed that United Nations resolutions are not binding and dismissed a recently released report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which criticised Sri Lanka's lack of progress in implementing a previously co-sponsored resolution.

The Island reported Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva as saying UN resolutions had "no impact on a sovereign nation" and denied the government was under any pressure from the international community or the UN to implement federalism on the island.

Sri Lanka is currently in negotiations with member states of the UN Human Rights Council over the text of a resolution due to be passed at the 34th session of the council. Colombo has faced criticism over its failure to implement a previous resolution that it co-sponsored in 2015. Last week, a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said progress was “worryingly slow” and called for a time bound plan for implementation and UN presence on the ground to to monitor this.

"There is a big difference between Resolution 30/1 and Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein’s report, which was a technical rollover," Mr de Silva said.

He went on to add the government was studying the High Commissioner's report and “would respond accordingly after consultations with all concerned including the countries that Co-Sponsored Resolution 30/1”.